Publication date: 05/18/2021
Kindle Unlimited: No
There are so few books that surprise me, y'all. I mean, I'm OLD. And not just in years. I'm an old, OLD soul. I have seen things that can't be unseen. So, when I'm reading in bed (at 9pm after taking my multivitamin, because, as I said, I'm OLD) and something makes me sit straight up and say, "Holy crap!" so loud that I startle the dogs, that's really saying something. This book did that exact thing. (The dogs are still a little edgy at bed time as a result, but we're working through it. But I digress...) Here's the spoiler free scoop:
Plot overview: Jordan suffers a wilderness accident and finds herself in the care of a giant, grumpy, alpha male lumberjack that she calls Grizzly. Together, they weather a storm while she heals. Sexy times ensue...and so do a few surprises. (None of which I intend to give away, because, HELLO, I said spoiler free and I'm not a liar.)
Trope bingo: Damsel in distress, forced proximity, grumpy hero, alpha male hero, lumberjack romance
First of all, this particular hero isn't going to be everyone's cuppa. He's rough and gruff and dangerously borders on alphahole territory at times. But it's a rare author who can make me love a near-alphahole hero, and JB Salsbury is rare indeed. If you've read Split, one of her other books, you'll know what I mean. (And you really should readSplit, because it's AWESOME) She gives me just enough glimpses into Grizzly's past that I understand his behavior, and that's all I really need to start to empathize with him--a sense that he does what he does for a good reason. And trust me when I say that everything about Grizzly makes sense when you read the book. :0 Also, there's just something about a big, grumpy romance hero that is a dick 99% of the time but still manages to treat the heroine like she's made of the most beautiful, delicate glass on earth that never fails to win me over. That's Grizzly, through and through.
Jordan is a pretty great heroine, too. She's a survivor, and a pragmatic one at that. There were times (especially with her scumbag ex) that I wanted her to really stand up for herself and nut punch someone, but that wasn't her style--and ultimately that was fine with me. I don't need every heroine to nut punch everyone who does her wrong. It doesn't always make sense for a heroine to choose violence. Jordan is more calculating and thoughtful in how she deals with those around her, and I can appreciate that. (It's a quality I lack, frankly. I'd always choose violence. *shrugs*)
There are few things I love more than a "snowed in together" story, and this one is pretty flawless. But that's only for half of the story. Things take a VERY unexpected turn in the second half, and I have to say I loved everything about it. It's a trope flip that I'm not sure I've seen before. I won't give anything away, but...you'll know it when you see it.
I can't really say anything more than that without being all spoiler-y, so let me just wrap up this review by saying if you're looking for a sexy, lumberjack-saves-the-damsel-in-distress-then-she-saves-him-right-back romance with a great happy ending and a few twists and turns along the way, look no further. This the read you've been looking for.
Full disclosure: I received an ARC from the author, but that in no way influenced my review.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
No rehab needed. This one's totally stigma free.